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Fountain of Gnostic Light

John Collins09/26/2013

Video available here: http://youtu.be/xzHwbaFHIFA

The Bible says that Satan disguises himself as a bright light, and that false teachers would rise, causing many to leave the Body of Christ.  False leaders would teach different forms of “jesus”, and Satan would confuse people into serving other gods.

Satan’s attack, according to Irenaeus, was Gnostic influence on early Christianity.  There are 370 deities in Greek worship, many of which have multiple names.  Over six hundred and forty gods were worshipped by the Greeks.  Twelve of these gods were considered to be “major” gods, and they are the counterparts to the gods of Rome.   Yet these same gods descended through the city of Tyre, where Ezekiel confronted the king, and where God called the king the “serpent from the Garden of Eden.”  Christians, through Gnostic faith, were being influenced into serving these gods.

Irenaeus describes the attack with new scrolls of Gnostic origin that were being included into the faith as “new books” to the Bible.  Much like the Book of Mormon or the “Spoken Word” of Branham, these books were placed with the same reverence as the Holy Word of God.  Irenaeus condemns them, saying that the original four canonical Gospels were complete – no new Gospel could be considered Christian.

In his book, Against Heresies, Irenaeus quotes from these extra-biblical scrolls, but primarily from three scrolls: Gospel of Truth, Gospel of Judas, and the “Secret Book of John,” or the Apocryphon of John.  Apocryphon means “secret writing,” and Gnostics were able to convince their following to receive these books by teaching that God had hidden his message to the church in “mystery.”  These books were yet another “mystery.”

The Apocryphon of John is a very rare book.  Outside of Irenaeus mentioning this book in Against Heresies, very little was known until 1945, when a cache of papyrus codices (bound books) were uncovered in Egypt.  1945 is the same year, coincidentally, that William Branham published his first pamphlet, “I Was Not Disobedient To The Heavenly Vision.”  Interestingly, Branham claims to have visited Egypt in almost the same breath that he calls the Great Pyramid of Giza the “second bible.”

This secret book of John takes the symbolism in the Scriptures comparing God to “light,” and expands upon that to teach the Gnostic ideology that God is mostly light.  The scriptures comparing God to a “fountain” of life, are twisted, teaching that this life IS light.  Therefore, under Gnostic teaching, God becomes a “fountain of light,” or a “spring of light.”

An older translation of the Apocryphon of John is found in the book NeoPlatonism and Gnosticism, and it translates this sentence as “fountain.”:

The fountain of the Spirit flowed from the living water of the light and arranged all the aeons and every kind of world.  He recognized His own image when he saw it in the water of pure light that surrounds Him.  His intellection accomplished a work; this was manifested and remained firm in His presence, in the radiance of the light.  He is the Potency which is before the All which was being revealed; the perfect Pre-Intellect of the All, the light, the likeness of the light, the image of the Invisible.

Neoplatonism and Gnosticism, Wallis

Newer translations are closer to the original, and describe the “spring of light” in better detail.  It is easy to identify the pagan influence.  Like the sun god, Ra, this god gives light to the other aeons, or other gods.  Under Valentinian Gnostic teaching, God was comprised of eight “spirit gods,” but these eight would bring forth Ra when they were brought into new order.

But while it seems harmless to compare God to light – especially since there are passages of scripture in the Bible that makes the same comparison, Irenaeus explains why this was damaging to the Church.  This theology was taking pagan worship and integrating itself into Christianity to form a different Jesus.  And this “secret book of John” was evidence of the new “jesus” being created.

This Gnostic scroll was taking the Godhead of the Christian Church, and changing its form.  While the Book of John in the Bible describes a triune Godhead, Irenaeus explains that the secret book was denying the original book to create a “Oneness” Godhead.  Under the Ogdoad influence, it had to be this way – one of the gods was cast down (which they claimed to be Sophia into a man by the name of Jesus Christ), and that one god would one day rejoin the other seven.

Further, they teach that John, the disciple of the Lord, indicated the first Ogdoad, expressing themselves in these words: John, the disciple of the Lord, wishing to set forth the origin of all things, so as to explain how the Father produced the whole, lays down a certain principle,--that, namely, which was first-begotten by God, which Being he has termed both the only-begotten Son and God, in whom the Father, after a seminal manner, brought forth all things. By him the Word was produced, and in him the whole substance of the AEons, to which the Word himself afterwards imparted form.

Against Heresies

You’ll remember William Branham added the words “to dwell in” to the scripture “This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.”  This secret book of John was taking the Triune God out of the heavens to dwell completely in the man, Jesus Christ – which supported their teaching of Sophia.

Irenaeus argues that denying the triune nature of God to support the one fallen god of the Ogdoad was also denying the book of John.  John says that Jesus was the Word, and that same Word was in the beginning with God.

Since, therefore, he treats of the first origin of things, he rightly proceeds in his teaching from the beginning, that is, from God and the Word. And he expresses himself thus: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; the same was in the beginning with God." Having first of all distinguished these three--God, the Beginning, and the Word--he again unites them, that he may exhibit the production of each of them, that is, of the Son and of the Word, and may at the same time show their union with one another, and with the Father. For "the beginning" is in the Father, and of the Father, while "the Word" is in the beginning, and of the beginning. Very properly, then, did he say, "In the beginning was the Word," for He was in the Son; "and the Word was with God," for He was the beginning; "and the Word was God," of course, for that which is begotten of God is God. "The same was in the beginning with God"--this clause discloses the order of production. "All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made;" for the Word was the author of form and beginning to all the AEons that came into existence after Him. But "what was made in Him," says John, "is life.

Against Heresies

 

But the secret book of John was actually levels worse than just denying the God that the Book of John describes.  The entire nature of God was being changed, using this teaching of the “fountain of light.”  Under Gnostic teaching, the “Word” was “Light,” and the secret book describes that “light” going out from God to form Jesus Christ.  Sophia was cast down from the Ogdoad and poured herself into a prepared vessel, Jesus Christ.

For, in discoursing of the Saviour and declaring that all things beyond the Pleroma received form from Him, he says that He is the fruit of the entire Pleroma. For he styles Him a "light which shineth in darkness, and which was not comprehended" by it, inasmuch as, when He imparted form to all those things which had their origin from passion, He was not known by it. He also styles Him Son, and Aletheia, and Zoe, and the "Word made flesh, whose glory," he says, "we beheld; and His glory was as that of the Only-begotten (given to Him by the Father), full of grace and truth."

Against Heresies

 

If you are familiar with William Branham’s teachings on “Theophany,” you will recognize the Gnostic origin from the Secret Book of John.  Branham claimed that the spirit went out of God into the form of Jesus Christ, and this created the “Theophany.”

Theophany is a Greek word that describes an event when God and man come in contact with each other.  It describes a “sighting” of God, a time when God makes Himself manifest to a mortal.  When Ezekiel and Isaiah saw the throne of God, it was a theophany.  When God appeared before Moses, it was a theophany.  Each instance of God manifesting himself before human flesh was what the Greeks called theophany.  Under Greek tradition, “Theophanies” was a festival when Apollo was believed to return from Hyperborea to manifest himself before the people.

The very first time William Branham introduces this word into his teaching, he changes the meaning of “theophany” into an example of “travel,” or “transition.”

They call it a theophany, that when we leave here we go in somewhere else. Whatever it may be, I take the apostle's Word, when he said, "If this earthly tabernacle or dwelling place be dissolved, we have one already waiting to move from this into that."

57-0420  THE.ENTOMBMENT

But over time, this simple statement would transform into the very thing that the Secret Book of John describes:

In the beginning God was a Spirit. And all the fountain of goodness and mercy and power, and all the good things of love, God was the center of that fountain. And then the Logos that went out of God in the beginning become what we would call a theophany, or a--a supernatural body. God is just not like the air, but He's in a body. Moses seen Him pass and said it looked like the back part of a man, and so forth. And then that same theophany was made flesh and dwelled among us. And we beheld Him, the only begotten of the Father: Christ.

57-0516  WE.WOULD.SEE.JESUS

Notice that phrase, “fountain of goodness and mercy” as we examine another example:

And the Logos, which was the Son of God went out, created by these great fountains of purity, God, as those Spirits went out, and it created the Logos. And it was a body. It was in the form of what we are now, which is called in the clergy way of speaking it, a theophany. It's a body that doesn't have a spirit in it. It's a body that's waiting for you Christians. As soon as the life leaves this, you go into that body. When this earthly tabernacle be dissolved, we have one already waiting, a theophany.

57-0630  THIRSTING.FOR.LIFE

The title of that sermon was “Thirsting For Life,” and God is described as a fountain.  Each time William Branham describes the nature of God in his later sermons, he uses this example of God being a fountain.  The casual listener might think that Branham is comparing God to the “fountain” of life as we find in scripture, but if you fully examine everything Branham says on the subject, you’ll suddenly realize that it seems as though he is preaching from the Secret Book of John.

In the sermon, Questions and Answers on Hebrews, William Branham is asked what kind of body that the saints will have.  Remember, the Gnostic answer for this is that we will have “light bodies.”  Listen to Branham’s answer:

In the beginning God... We'll go back to our Hebrew teaching just for a few minutes. God was this great big fountain of seven colors. How many knows that? See?

57-1006  QUESTIONS.AND.ANSWERS.ON.HEBREWS

 

But Irenaeus condemns this Gnostic idea.  Each time that “light” is used in scripture, it is a parallel – not a physical description.  God is our lighthouse shining in darkness, but that does not mean that God is made of brick, with a light bulb spinning circles.  Neither is God a “fountain of seven colors” as Branham describes.  God is not the rainbow of fruit flavors.

In Against Heresies, Irenaeus shows the twisted teaching, and explains that they have taken the comparison between God and the things we can see and understand, and twisted them to make the One True God fit the gods of Egypt.

For, in discoursing of the Saviour and declaring that all things beyond the Pleroma received form from Him, he says that He is the fruit of the entire Pleroma. For he styles Him a "light which shineth in darkness, and which was not comprehended" by it, inasmuch as, when He imparted form to all those things which had their origin from passion, He was not known by it. He also styles Him Son, and Aletheia, and Zoe, and the "Word made flesh, whose glory," he says, "we beheld; and His glory was as that of the Only-begotten (given to Him by the Father), full of grace and truth."

 

But what John really does say is this: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Thus, then, does he [according to them] distinctly set forth the first Tetrad, when he speaks of the Father, and Charis, and Monogenes, and Aletheia. In this way, too, does John tell of the first Ogdoad, and that which is the mother of all the AEons. For he mentions the Father, and Charis, and Monogenes, and Aletheia, and Logos, and Zoe, and Anthropos, and Ecclesia. Such are the views of Ptolemaeus.

Against Heresies, Irenaeus

 

The year 1957 was very strange, when you consider this teaching that twists the word “theophany” to create a new and different “jesus.”  It is the only year that Branham teaches this Gnostic doctrine that the “Logos went out of God to form a theophany,” and that it came from a “fountain of light”  Before 1957, the word “theophany” is not mentioned.  In the years after, the teaching has been established in the listener’s minds, and he does not have to reestablish the doctrine.  But we find it all throughout 1957, and in each instance, Branham describes God as this fountain that he would later explain was a fountain of twelve colors:

In the beginning God was a Spirit. And all the fountain of goodness and mercy and power, and all the good things of love, God was the center of that fountain.

57-0516 WE.WOULD.SEE.JESUS_ SASKATOON.SK THURSDAY

 

The great Fountain of all eternitywas that spirit of love, joy, that spirit of honesty, that spirit of trueness in this perfection. And then out of the existence of the Father went the Logos which was the Son, which was the theophany, which was the body of the great Jehovah God went forth in a celestial Body.

57-0602 LIFE

 

 

Remember Irenaeus speaking of the Secret Book of John describing the “triad” that went into Jesus?  His words were “Thus, then, does he [according to them] distinctly set forth the first Tetrad.”

Listen to this statement by William Branham:

 

Then that theophany was made flesh in the Person Christ Jesus. And then all the fullness of the Trinity dwelt in Him, both Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all in that. And that's the very way we go, plumb back to the original beginning of God. 

57-0602 LIFE

God, the fountainof all life, and the Logos that went out of God, that brood over the earth, and as He was brooding... Or the word means like "mothering," or "cooing."

57-0613E THIRSTING.FOR.LIFE

Also notice that he takes us back out of the New Covenant of Grace, and into the Old Covenant of Law that the Apostle Paul called “obsolete”:

Then out of there come another stream, off this main Fountain, the Diamond, and it was called righteousness, absolutely righteousness. Now, that's the reason we had to have law. That's the reason law has to have judgment. If no judgment doesn't follow law, law doesn't do no good.

57-0821 HEBREWS.CHAPTER.ONE

Later in that sermon, A few sentences down, Branham starts to describe this fountain of light that the Secret Book of John describes:

Now, when these great Lights went out, or great rays of Spirit: love, peace, that's all there was, That. There wasn't no suffering. There wasn't no--no hate, nor no malice; it couldn't come from this Fountain. That was Jehovah. That was Jehovah God. And now, as the theologians call it, a theophany went from That, which was called, in the Scriptural, the "Logos," the Logos that went out of God. It's hard to explain, but It was a part of God.

57-0821 HEBREWS.CHAPTER.ONE

Also notice that this Gnostic “fountain of light” is where Branham starts to claim that Jesus was not eternal.  This is where Branham claims that Jesus was created:

The Logos, and this great Fountain, this great Fountain of Spiritwhich had no beginning or no end; this great Spirit began to form, in the creation, and the Logos that went out from It was the Son of God.

57-0821 HEBREWS.CHAPTER.ONE

Like the teachings in the Secret Book of John, that statement by William Branham is in direct conflict with the Book of John that is found in the Bible.  In the opening statements of John, is says that Jesus was the Word.  And that ALL things were created by Him, and for Him.  It says that He was in the beginning WITH God, not created by some “fountain of light god” that created a different “jesus.”

Towards the end of that sermon is where Branham produces the “rainbow of fruit flavors” of this Gnostic god.  Out of this “fountain god,” multi-colored lights began to emit light to the other gods in the Ogdoad:

That's It's when Jesus went back to the Logos, the Pillar of Fire that led the children of Israel, setting in the Presence of them greats, fountain, rainbow of Lights that come out, the seven perfect Spirits, a perfect Spirit of love.  

57-0901E HEBREWS.CHAPTER.FOUR

1 John 5:7 describes the Christian God, the One True God from the Bible.  The God that said, “Let US make man in OUR image,” and then created a mortal that contained both male and female.  A God that sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, and a God that promised to send His Holy Spirit to us when Christ ascended to the throne.

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

1 John 5:7

To believe any other god is to believe in a false god – even if that god has been rebranded with the name “Jesus” or “Jehovah” or “Elohim,” or even “Yahweh.”  There is only one way to explain the Christian God, and that is by reading the scripture.

The Book of John – not the “Secret Book,” but the REAL book from the Bible gives the most accurate description of God in the shortest grouping of sentences.  It fully explains the God we serve, but it starts out speaking of the Word.  Because this is a little difficult for the Christian starting to learn his or her bible, Gnostic influence is powerful.  Gnosticism fully explains the “mystery” that is built upon scriptures that have been built upon explanations and comparisons for the mortal mind to better comprehend.  Those mysteries twist the meaning into something entirely different.

If you start the chapter with verse 14, you will find out Who this Word is.  You’ll find out Who, exactly, John is describing when he says that the Word created all things:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”)

John 1:14-15

Now, having established that Jesus is the Word, the full passage is easy enough for even the beginner to understand:

In the beginning was Jesus[the Word], and Jesus[the Word] was with God, and Jesus[the Word] was God.  Jesus[He] was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Jesus[Him], and without Jesus[Him] was not any thing made that was made.  

John 1:1-3 (adding the name Jesus in front of [The Word])

Which god will you serve?  The god of William Branham?  Or the God of the Bible?